Stats: Hawkeyes Turn to Weisman in Time of Need
By Marc Morehouse, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Here's Marc Morehouse's stats package from Saturday's Iowa-UNI game:
FIVE SENTENCES ON UNI RESULT
1. Long-term Weisman, we’ll see, but the program weight is old, saying yesterday he weighed 235. (That puts him smaller than Purdue fullback Mike Alstott (248), but in the neighborhood of Stanford/Viking Toby Gerhart, who’s 6-0, 231.)
2. Maybe Weisman is Kirk Ferentz’s version of Danny Woodhead only built more like a Hillis-Gerhart-Alstott.
3. There was nothing definitive from Ferentz yesterday on RBs Damon Bullock and Greg Garmon. (Bullock was obviously concussed; Garmon’s elbow had apparent structural damage.)
4. Weisman played running back in practice last week and has been in-and-out of that position since camp began in August, which looks rather prescient right now.
5. Through its first three games, Iowa trails opponents 42-36 going into the fourth quarter, but has a collective score of 15-0 in the final period.
THREE PLAYERS WHO PLAYED
1. OT Brandon Scherff/OG Austin Blythe — Remember the trouble Iowa had on first-and-goal from the 3 against ISU? These two had a lot to say in Weisman’s three 2-yard TDs. Still, Weisman as stopped on fourth-and-inches for No. 4. Work yet to do here.
2. WR Kevonte Martin-Manley — The sophomore showed that he can be a weapon for this offense. Credit him for finding the open spot against Cover 2 on his long receptions.
3. LB Anthony Hitchens — The junior is a first-year starter, so he will have plays where he overruns the ball carrier, but he’s explosive and will also have plays where he squares up and pins a runner on his back.
THREE THINGS THAT NEED TIGHTENING
1. Pressure on the QB — Redshirt freshman QB Sawyer Kollmorgen was allowed to get awfully comfortable in the pocket. Iowa has a new defensive coordinator in Phil Parker, but it is still very much a “bend don’t break” defense, unless it finds a way to generate pressure.
2. Starts — This was here last week, too. In back-to-back weeks, the Hawkeyes have allowed TDs on the opponent’s opening possession. Iowa’s offense isn’t good enough to attack from its back (a mangled UFC reference).
3. Back-shoulder throw — I could be wrong, but I believe Iowa missed on three of these yesterday, including Vandenberg to Keenan Davis in the end zone. It seems Iowa practices this, but it doesn’t look steady.
1. Third-and-goal from Iowa’s 5 — The Panthers emptied the backfield and went five-wide spread against Iowa’s base personnel, meaning no nickel (one LB out, CB Greg Castillo in) or dime (two LBs out, Castillo and CB Sean Draper in). Iowa played a zone exchange and really stuck to it. UNI tried to pick off free safety Tanner Miller, with wideouts Chad Owens and Phil Wright crossing. It didn’t work. Miller kept his shoulders square and stayed with Owens. QB Sawyer Kollmorgen looked toward Wright, but linebacker James Morris rotated underneath. He then tried Owens, who had Miller on his back. Miller stuck in a hand and the ball feel to the turf. This held UNI to a field goal and preserved a 14-13 lead midway through the second quarter.
2. Downed own punt — It probably felt a little bit like “you’re still out” in golf, you know, when you miss a putt so badly that it’s still your turn. Yes, freshman punter Connor Kornbrath had a punt go short and bounce away from coverage. It was such a bad bounce that Kornbrath ended up downing it. This gave UNI first down at its own 40 and turned out to be a FG. Kornbrath averaged just 25.5 yards on two punts. Iowa is all in with him and Ferentz seems set on riding the highs and lows of having a true freshman at punter. He’s learning on the job.
CLOSER LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
Closing the deal (Red zone TDs/possessions)
After going 0-for-6 in this first two games, Iowa finally finished, with Weisman crashing in from the 2 or less three times. Vandenberg is still looking for his first TD pass of the season, but he didn’t seem to mind Saturday evening. Iowa’s defense has allowed just three TDs on 12 red-zone opportunities for opponents. That’s a solid number.
Setting the tone (defensive three-and-outs)
Iowa 4 — Kind of a yin yang thingie for Iowa’s D. The Panthers had nine possessions and Iowa held them to three-and-out four times, including a drive that ended with a pick after three plays and a late four downs and out. But . . . UNI also scored on four of those nine and moved 56 yards before misfiring to seal Iowa’s win.)
UNI 4 (After Iowa went up 24-13 after flying to a TD on the first drive of the second half, it was milk mode, with back-to-back three-and-outs. Remember, Iowa was down to the fullback playing running back. Also remember, this is the difference between 27-16 and 42-16 and getting your No. 2 QB who’s never thrown a pass in college a little experience. Might be something, might be nothing.)
After adjustments (second-half yards and avg. yards per play)
Efficient number for Iowa’s offense, best yet this season. The defensive number is pumped up from UNI’s last drive, which was 7-on-7 until it melted into an Iowa win.
Game-changers (offensive plays of 20-plus yards)
Iowa 4 (Big game for Martin-Manley, opened up by a crushing rushing attack. Bullock’s 27-yarder was Iowa’s longest rush of the season. Weisman showed a lot when he went into a wheel route out of the backfield and instead running into coverage, he read the safety and sat. A UNI LB missed a tackle badly, but then Weisman ran through three defenders and went 21 yards.)
UNI 4 (Three of these came out of the Panthers first two drives. Iowa is continually getting cut down in wide-screen settings. WR Brett LeMaster had a pair of 23-yard receptions on drag routes. That’s too much time to throw.)
Two-minute magic (points, final two minutes of half)
Iowa 0 (Iowa did drive for a field goal with 2:46 left before halftime. Perhaps this stat needs to be yin’d with something like “scoring on first possession”?)
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